Starz’ Outlander stars Sam Heughan with a tilt in his Kilt

Outlander 2014A kilt on a strapping young lad never looked so good as when Sam Heughan, the star of the Starz network much anticipated new series Outlander, took the stage for a Q&A with the members of the Television Critics Association during the TCA press tour.

Heughan told everyone he finds the kilt “freeing and liberating.” The awesome man with the tilt in his kilt is sure to make fans of The Outlander books swoon when they see him in the role of Jamie Fraser. But they’ll have to wait until Summer for the series debut on the Starz network.

Even when Sam isn’t shooting Outlander, he has gotten use to wearing his kilt. “For formal occasions I’ll wear a modern styled kilt. But for filming the show we use the feileadh mhor (philamore) which is the traditional kilt.”

He describes the type worn in the 1700s (the setting for Outlander) as a very long bit of cloth. “I can’t remember the actual size of the traditional ones, but our are about seven or eight foot long, and they are basically used as a tool. The Highlanders would wear them to keep themselves warm.”

With so much material, he says “you could use is it as a sleeping bag. You could use it as camouflage to blend into the background. They had a variety of uses. They also had lots of pockets and you could wear them in different ways. It took a long time to get used to it, but it’s a real joy to work with it, and you can find various uses. I mean, we even discovered you can use it as a shield you can wrap around your arm for protection.”

Modern kilts can have brightly colored plaids, but all the colors you see in the Outlander kilts are earth tones. They are taken from the environment becasue the dyes were from natural herbs or berries, Sam says after becoming sort of an expert now on the traditional kilt.

Sam Heughan is actually a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He was a 2003 nominee for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performance for his work in the program. Last year, he originated the role of ‘Batman’ in the DC/Warner Bros. and Waterlane production of “Batman Live,” an international tour which opened at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and went on to tour in South America and throughout Europe.  In 2010, he was nominated for a British Soap Award for Villain of the Year for his role as ‘Scott Neilson’ in the BBC soap opera “Doctors.”

He’s had a range of television roles and was nominated for a Grace Award for his performance as ‘Prince Ashton,’ the son of Sir Roger Moore, in A Princess for Christmas for Hallmark Channel. His film credits include the features Alexander The Great from Macedonia and Emulsion. He will also be seen in the upcoming film Heart of Lightness. On stage Heughan performed “Romeo and Juliet,” and now he’s the romantic leading man in Outlander. #


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 30 years.

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  • Victoria Cox

    Thanks for this review of the upcoming Outlander series and of actor Sam Heughan. You provided a fine overview of Mr. Heughan’s career to date. I would like to add that the acting Heughan did in the TV movie “First Light”, (2010) in which he portrayed Geoffrey Wellum on whose World War II memoir the film is based, is noteworthy. It’s in this film that you can see his ability to portray the complex reactions of a young soldier in battle as well as the emotional range required for the role of Jamie Fraser. It’s worth watching as we await the series later this year. Again, as a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s books I appreciate your accuracy and kind words for the upcoming series,

  • April

    Sam Heughan is perfect as Jamie Fraser–since his casting he has moved closer and closer to the book description of Diana Gabaldon’s irresistable male protagonist. I haven’t seen a review here of the beautiful Caitriona Balfe who will bring the books’ main character, Claire Randall to life opposite Sam Heughan’s Jamie Fraser; what a witty and elegant actress.

  • Moz B

    Thanks for a great article. I love these books, and the series looks like it’s going to do justice to the writing. The cast looks fabulous!

  • Stephanie Miller

    What a wonderful article! I am so very excited to see this book (and hopefully the entire series!) come to life with Starz, Ron D. Moore, the wonderful actors/actresses who have been cast so far, and the phenomenal production crew. It has been so exciting to follow this entire process via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). This series defies “genre” generalizations – if you are male or female and alive, I encourage you to read at least the first novel, Outlander, before the series airs later this year!

  • Gail Grifiths

    Thank you for an enlightened review of the Outlander Series, and the praise for it’s leading man, Sam Heughan. Your review was informed, unbiased and entertaining. I as a dedicated fan of all things Outlander appreciate any endorsement that you and your site put forth.

  • Jackie Harms

    Thanks for the great article! The Outlander series is my favorite so I can’t wait to see the Starz TV series!! I’m blown away by the incredible cast and that Herself, Diana Gabaldon, is advising during filming! I’m a huge fan of the books, but I suspect the TV series is going to be something very special – just wait and see! :)

  • Sue

    Fantastic article!

  • Marie Summa Eastwood

    Having been a fan of the Outlander series since it came out in 1991, I am eagerly awaiting this new venture. Thank you for spotlighting our Jamie. I am sure Sam will get more fans once the show is on.

  • gigi

    Love when I learn new things! Great article about the actor and show. This book series has kept me company for a couple decades! Thank you!

  • LaRaynr

    Outlander in book form was superb and from what I have seen, the TV adaptation will echo that. I hope your readers take the opportunity to read Outlander if they have not done so already and watch the show on Starz this summer!

  • Stacy

    Great read, thanks!

  • goodlittlewitch

    Great introduction from you to Outlander! Sam is a very talented actor, who’s received quite a bit of attention for his skill. Actually, his looks are pretty nice, too! I’m looking forward to seeing more writing from you about this series as you see more “previews” from STARZ!

  • Viviana Mroc

    Very interesting article. I would definitely like to learn more about Sam Heughan’s classic theatre career. I saw a picture from him in King John but nothing more. Did he play Romeo? Would have loved to see him. As Jamie Fraser he promises to be oerfect and with Caitriona Balfe as Claire, they look fantastic. Everything that Starz has shown up to now looks like they are doing a fantastic job with this awesome series, my favorite reading since The Lord of the Rings. It’s very difficult to find amazing books like Outlander. Can’t wait to watch them come into TV.